LOB MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO
LOB - Diving In Mergui
First opened up to tourism in 1997, the Mergui Archipelago is one of the latest frontiers of scuba diving. Comprising of 800 and more islands, Mergui Archipelago's unexplored islands are scattered within 4600 square miles. One can only imagine the staggering amount of marine biodiversity there is! Shrouded in mystery, Mergui Archipelago is largely unexplored. Unlike most dive destinations in Southeast Asia, Mergui Archipelago does not have throngs of liveaboards clamoring with scuba divers. The distance between dive sites in the Mergui Archipelago and the lack of liveaboard operators, make each and every dive a memorable and intimate experience at the same time. Especially for underwater photographers, this makes sure that
With the number of years of isolation and the prime location of being in the midst of the Andaman Sea, Mergui Archipelago boasts of both macro and pelagic marine life. Expect a high density of coral coverage in the Mergui Archipelago along with varied species of critters and pelagics. From Frogfish, Pipefish, Nudibranchs, to Oceanic Manta Rays, and various species of Sharks, Mergui Archipelago is an underwater paradise and a majestic sight to behold.
Singapore – Kawthaung via Phuket and Ranong
- 08:00 SIN-HKT departure from Singapore to Phuket, on Jetstar flight
- 08:55 arrival at HKT Phuket International Airport
- 10:00 meet and greet at arrival hall with combi-van transfer to Ranong
- 12:00 after 74km stop for lunch at Khao Lak, a seaside town Phangnga
- 13:00 continue remaining journey to Ranong via combi-van
- 16:00 arrival at Ranong Pier
- 16:20 clear immigration from Thailand
- 16:40 speedboat transfer to Kawthaung
- 16:50 clear immigration into Myanmar
- 18:30 reception onboard Mega Explorer, check-in and dinner
Rocky Island and Three Islet
- 09:00 dive 1 at Rocky Island
- 12:00 dive 2 at Rocky Island
- 16:00 dive 3 at Shark Cave
- 19:15 dive 4 at Shark Cave
- 09:00 dive 5 at Black Rock southwest Wall
- 12:00 dive 6 at Black Rock Manta Point part 1
- 16:00 dive 7 at Black Rock Manta Point part 2
North Twin – South Twin Island
- 09:00 dive 8 at North Twin Island
- 12:00 dive 9 at North Twin Island
- 16:00 dive 10 at South Twin Island
- 19:15 dive 11 at South Twin Island
Western Rocky – Fan Forrest Pinnacle
- 09:00 dive 12 at Western Rocky underwater cave
- 12:00 dive 13 at Western Rock eastern Pinnacles
- 16:00 dive 14 at Fan Forrest (18 hours No-Fly surface interval begins)
Kawthaung – Singapore via Ranong and Phuket
- 09:00 arrival at Kawthaung after breakfast
- 09:15 check-out and disembark from Mega Explorer
- 09:30 clear immigration from Myanmar
- 09:45 speedboat transfer to Ranong
- 09:55 arrival at Ranong Pier
- 10:00 clear immigration into Thailand
- 10:20 combi-van transfer to Phuket
- 13:20 stop for lunch at lunch Khao Lak town
- 14:20 continue remaining journey to Phuket via combi-van
- 16:20 arrival at HKT Phuket International Airport
- 21:00 HKT-SIN departure from Phuket to Singapore, on Jetstar flight
*Note: Sample itinerary for reference only, subject to changes in weather and other unforeseen circumstances
|5 nights accommodation onboard in Twin rooms with attached bathroom||Airfares and airport taxes|
|Up to 14 guided boat dives||Dive and travel insurance|
|All daily meals, snacks, hot beverages, coffee, tea||Dive gear rentals|
|All onboard entertainment facilities such as Jacuzzi, Bluetooth-enabled audio player, USB-connectivity LCD panel TV with video/movie library, camera-docking stations etc.||Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages|
|Hot water outdoor shower, fresh body towel, and refreshments after each dive||
|Tanks, weights and weight belts.||
Western Rocky Island
The southernmost dive site of Mergui Archipelago, Western Rocky, offers exhilarating activities such as reef diving and wall diving. There is also pinnacles and a gorgeous passage through the center of the island. It is a small barren island which can be reached underwater from the main island. It is teeming with macro life as well as whale shark visits. Western Rocks also holds a cavern filled with macro surprises. It is covered with zigzag clams and encrusting sponges. This site is also famous for night divers.
Black Rock is often the highlight of Mergui Archipelago diving. Diving Black Rock in the early morning can be very exciting as there are chance encounters of large predators. Diving here during the day is an explosion of colours. During the sunset, you can expect feeding marine critters. Black rock is also teeming with macro treasures, from armies of shrimps to sea slugs. The limestone composition on this site allows small cracks and small caves that are filled with macro life. Whale sharks and giant manta rays also frequent this area.
Fan Forest Pinnacle
Fan Forest Pinnacle, lies just 10 kilometers north of Western Rocky. It is made of limestone pinnacles that rises from more than 45 meters deep. The shallowest parts are rather barren, but going deep you will start to see splashes of colors. This site is famous for its tremendous number of huge, undamaged orange fan corals that can be found 30 meters below. It is teeming with wide-varieties of reef fish, and occasional sighting of big animals such as manta rays, eagle rays, and white-tip sharks.
The highlights in diving Burma Banks is its great marine diversity. In this dive site you will witness schools of fish and big pelagics. The environment is a mixture of walls, caverns, and off beaten tracks. The travel to this dive site is simply ecstatic—calm crystal seas and secluded islands, no other vessels in sight. Armies of barracuda, batfish, dogtooth tuna, unicornfish and trevallies will welcome you underwater, as well as bigger critters such as reef sharks and mantas. Marine creatures of different sizes and colors grace Burma banks with their beauty.
The Three Islets is a most loved dive site among divers who explores Burma dive destinations in view of the geography of limestones above and beneath the waters. The sheer diversity of marine life and the underwater highlights mean you'll need to spend a whole day diving Three Islets to see everything it has to offer. Creatures to frequently see are Frogfish and small child seahorses to Whitetip Reef sharks and Blotched Fantail beams.
This huge dive site is comprised of many huge, broadly scattered granite stones laying on a rough plateau at 24 to 30m. This plateau is thusly encompassed by a steadily inclining sandy base, bringing about geography reminiscent of the western Similan Islands. Marine life is abundant, yet is scattered over a genuinely vast territory.
Many of North Twins areas are populated with thick timberlands of orange fan corals, and delicate corals grow from rough crevices at moderate depths. This site pulls in an extensive variety of mid-water predators, including rainbow sprinters, bonitos, queenfish and bunches of pick-handle and incredible barracuda. Sandbar sharks-effortlessly recognized from different species by their tall dorsal balances have been seen here.
North Twin Island
North Twin Island - North Twin is the somewhat littler, tree-topped, sister island of South Twin and lies 20 km to its north. Its waters are visited by pelagic fish, for example, Zambezi (bull) sharks, rainbow sprinters, and bird rays. Manta rays likewise visit here. Flows can be solid, and visibility is typically incredible.
Simply off the southwest tip of the island is the South Pinnacle dive site. It begins 3 meters beneath the surface and drops down to 35 meters. The dive site is comprised of extensive stone rocks like those in Thailand's Similan Islands and offers the best of many diving openings around North Twin Island. Many swim-throughs offer the chance to explore this dive site from another edge again and again as, contingent upon the season of day, the light sparkles at new edges through the little passages.
The dive season in the Mergui Archipelago runs from October to May. Andaman Sea experiences monsoon for the rest of the year and diving in the Mergui Archipelago is not possible. Manta and Whaleshark sightings are more common from February to May.
The best way to dive Mergui's dive sites is via a liveaboard, most of which depart from Ranong. From Ranong, it is approximately three hours to the liveaboard.